Personal History

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Paul macdonald, Jun 3, 2016.

    1. Paul macdonald

      Paul macdonald Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      My name is Paul,
      I am a young 60 year old male who suffered my first incident of tinnitus at age 13 from a firecracker explosion near my right ear. For the next 40 years,I would say I was a moderate sufferer. It was always there in the background,but I learned/adaptedvto live with it. It would become worse if exposed to loud noise like a rock concert or sporting event, but would eventually settle down. I learned to have hearing protection in the form of a custom made ear plug from Massachussetts Eye and Ear.
      Then my live really changed on Nov 28th 2010 while at a New England Patriots football game. I got tickets from a sales rep and found out they were in the 1st row end zone. Just in front of me were colonial clothed revolutionary musketeer "Patriots" whose tradition is to fire off these "canons" after a Patriot's score. I had forgotten to bring my ear plug,so said to myself,"I'll just remember to cover my ears",which I did...except for one score. The musket shot was mind boggling loud, because he was just 10-15 feet away,and my head was turned in the direction of my bad right ear facing him. That was it...a life changer. An eerie silence/numbness followed by an exponential increase in my ringing. It was hard to enjoy the rest of the game and tried to hide my panic from my friend. I prayed it would settle back down to it's normal annoying level,but it didn't.
      Panic settled in for the days and weeks that followed....couldn't sleep,concentrate at work,etc. Just wanted to crawl into a fetal position and stay there. Once my smoke alarms went off and I cringed fleeing the home. I turned them and will gladly take my chances burning in a fire, I realized I now had severe hyperacusis,and just the change being dropped into the register's till would make me cringe.
      I went to see one of the actual experts in the field[now mostly handled by psychiatrists],a Dr. Levine at Mass Eye and Ear,who told me the bad news that there has been no effective "cures",just treatments. These were meds;Gaba family of benzos,to which I was not open to since being clean and sober in recovery 20 years.
      After more interminable suffering,I made an appointment to re-evaluate. I was told he was gone to join a team in Israel,EStimME to work on a cochlea implant that seemed promising. The new new Dr heading up the clinic there was a psychiatrist,Dr Chamali. I told her my story,and that while I wasn't suicidal,I told her it will be nice when this is all over[life with severe tinnitus]because Heaven is "all peaceful"...I'm a christian.
      At this point she suggested how the benzos quiet the hyper-active neural activity which is the healthy brother and sister nerve hair cells overcompensating for their damaged brother and sisters. So I said said yes.
      Feeling the relief was like "dancing with the Devil' for me...being an active member of my AA community.An internal struggle that continues to this day.Being an addict has it's benifits[I'm EXTREMEL aware of the power of these meds,so am extremely cautious. But i can obsess about the relief. Obsession is a key component of addiction. Compulsion the other one. can't control the obsession,but with a program of recovery,I can control the compulsion to over use. Taking only the minimum that will give me relief and only at night time,which has now turned into early evening,unless it is a gym night or an AA meeting,then I will take meds later.The next day, I know my tinnitus is screaming for the relief it had the night before,but I refuse to take them during the day.I run my own business and need to be sharp. I also feel how down/depressed I can feel by the end of the day and realize that what ever little[I think I'm a depressive by nature...that's one of the things that fueled my alcoholism] feel good seratonin / endorphins my body used to make, has been shut down. This is the catch 22.
      My level has been measured at 87-90 decibels and the hertz range not sure...kind of like a screaming steam kettle.EStimME has a very good graph that replicates the sound most of us hear/suffer with.
      That's my experience. My strength and hope; God and prayer,my AA fellowship,exercise,no salt[deadly], anything that calms my brain...staying away from stress...easier said than done. Animal/pet therapy[love my critters], and I should practice meditation more religiously. I have a Sound Cure machine called Serenade that is a life saver. It's masking noise is computer matched to my level/pitch and while it doesn't sound pleasant,I think it more psychological; I AM CREATING THE SOUND. I don't feel the inescapable panic and can zone out the noise I MAKE. Also Arches Tinnitus Formula with pharmaceutical grade ginkgo.
      The meds I take[resistance builds over time] in evening,all in one dose; .5 klonopin with .5 zanax with 600mg gabapentin[a potentiator]. The klonopin is longer lasting[half-life] while the xanax has a quicker spike/relief.
      This is the first time I've shared my story on line. Not sure if I'm even doing it correctly and if anyone will see it. I'm a technological dinosaur. No I Phone ,Tweets, Twitter,Texts, only at work. But,hey,I do have watch my sports when I get home from work at mid-nite!
      Hopes this helps other suffers.
      PS Did try Magnetic Cranial treatment but with no results
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paul, welcome! Sorry for all your recent troubles with the worsening of your tinnitus. You will find a very helpful and supportive community here, and may come across suggestions that are helpful, in addition to sharing your own tips and insights. It does help to be able to talk with people who really understand. Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you are doing lots for yourself, and are also a strong and active person! :)
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Bobby B

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      This shows how cumulative the damage can be..even after all these years the hair cells aren't up to any kind of loud noise.

      Have you tried to protect you ears from everyday loud noises after the sporting event incident ? I mean like inside cars, noisy streets or noisy restaurants etc..
      This may give the ears some healing time and is one way to get rid of H in the acute phase
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    4. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:

      Yes - give the ears some healing time! So important!
    5. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      Hi Paul! Welcome!
      I'm sorry that you have had to deal with this for such a long time. You seem to manage pretty well, given your circumstances. I'm not a Twitter/Facebook person either but you will find this forum to be user friendly, even for tech dinosaurs like us. There are so many people here from all around the world who can relate to your struggles with tinnitus and hyperacuis.
      I'm glad to see that you are near Mass Eye and Ear. I am nowhere near there but I have read good things about them. Thanks for posting about your own experiences.
    6. AUTHOR
      Paul macdonald

      Paul macdonald Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thanks Lorac,Path Maker,and Bobby B!
      It's nice to know my story wasn't just floating in "cyberspace".
      Bobby B.,it's a 2 edge sword; if I wear my earplug I hear my tinnitus only. If I wear my earplug too often,I become even more over-sensitized to sound. But I've learned the danger zones after all these years. Although every once and a while I can be taken by surprise,like when there is an ambulance I don't see and that suddenly turns on its siren! That's "fetal position' time.
      Sporting events are out[I'm a huge fan]. The singing choir at church requires me to wear my plug. Even a particular person's loud voice/laugh/pitch can be excruciating.But again the 2 edge sword;silence isn't "golden".
      Thanks again to all in this fellowship of sufferers and survivors!
      Paul M.
      • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.